The World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships start on Monday in Italy.
Australia’s team of 4 juniors and 3 elites has been training for the last 9 days acclimatising to the 38 degree heat and to the different types of terrain. We started off with a low key event near Trento and on Thursday had a practice race with the Russians and Italians at Nanto, near the host city of Vicenza. The latter was mostly undulating vineyards which can be expected in the relays. Today’s model event included a leg with almost 200 metres climb! The new mapping symbol of orange stripe on yellow, indicating the only way to ride across open ground, has proven a bit dubious to identify on the ground.
Our riders are all fit and well and looking forward to the races ahead. The Champs commence with the long qualifying on Monday at Chiuppano with the elite men having an optimum route of 27kms, 570m climb and an expected winning time of 72-78 mins. Tuesday is the long final, with the middle on Thursday, relays on Friday and concluding with the sprint on Saturday. The participant numbers are 95 (elite men); 56 (elite women); 62 (jwoc men) and 26 (jwoc women) with 30 countries involved.